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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Over the years, everyone’s body goes through a series of changes. Muscle and bone mass decreases, fat increases. The older you get, the more your metabolism slows down. An 80-year-old needs about 400 kcal a day fewer than a 30-year-old. 400 kcal translates into a piece of cake, or a hotdog with mustard. If aches and pains mean that you’re also exercising less, then you’re at high risk of putting on weight. Overweight brings with it increased risk of health problems like diabetes, heart and circulatory problems and joint problems like arthritis. Loosing weight helps you to feel fit and keep fit.

Four nutrition tips for senior citizens

Eat full-value food: Aim for the healthy weight at which you feel good. Achieving it may mean that you need to permanently change the way you eat. Crash diets are rarely successful in the long term. The secret is to get informed, for example finding out about nutrition pyramids which help you remember which foods you should be eating often and which you should avoid. This means more wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables and less meat and fewer sweet things. 

Eat less but more often: Instead of three big meals, try eating smaller portions interspersed with regular snacks. Good snacks are fruit and vegetables and low-fat cottage cheese. Relax, eat slowly, chew thoroughly and focus on your food rather than on doing something else too.


Avoid high-fat foods: Fat is high calorie and if you eat too much you’ll gain weight. Reduce consumption and be aware of quality. Choose vegetable oils (like rapeseed and soy oils and spreads). Beware of “concealed” fat in meat and dairy products and in bakery and processed foods. You don’t need more than 60 – 80 grams of fat a day.

Drink enough: Increasing your liquid intake boosts your metabolism and uses up energy, but of course, only if you’re drinking low-calorie liquids. The very best is water or mineral water. Unsweetened herbal teas are a good alternative. The advice is to drink at least six big glasses (each 250 to 300 ml) a day.


Exercise a lot

Exercise is important at any age, but as you grow older you might have to make more of a conscious effort to exercise enough. You’ll find, for example, that your muscle mass is shrinking, while at the same time core muscle strength is becoming ever more important to support your joints and prevent falls. Exercise also strengthens your bones, because loading bones stimulates your body to create more bone mass. The more muscle you have, the more energy your body uses, even though they may not be active at the time. But before you plunge into a strenuous exercise programme, you should consult a doctor or a sport therapist. First and foremost you need to find out what sort of exercise is right for you. This is especially important if you already have health issues like arthritis. Walking or swimming on a daily basis is good. Either will strengthen your circulation and your muscles. Special exercises or easy weight training could be options to train specific muscle groups, like back or stomach muscles. Try your local sports clubs, recreation centre as first port of call to find suitable courses.

Losing weight can be an option


Consult your doctor or a nutritionist to discuss whether you really need to lose weight and how best to do it. Getting closer to your ideal weight is important if diabetes or gout is a problem, because changing your diet can alter your metabolism for the better. Your doctor can also tell you whether you need to think about diet deficiencies or “silent” illnesses such as osteoporosis. If this is the case, following a special diet in parallel with suitable exercises and medication where necessary will go a long way to keep you fit. 


Source: IN FORM


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